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Curriculum Information

Please click on the below image for an overview of academic information pertaining to classes taught at Hamilton Middle.

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Academics and Career Planning (ACP)

Velma Hamilton Middle School has a goal for all of our students to graduate with the skills and abilities to be successful within theloomking_at_camera_nov_19.jpgir college, career, and community. This goal was developed with feedback from more than 2500 students, teachers and community members. You can see these skills above in what we call the MMSD Graduate Vision. Families are key partners in helping students to become college, career, and community ready. This email will explain some key action steps that we are taking as a school this year in order to help our students develop the Graduate Vision skills. This email will also provide you with some ideas for how you can support your child.

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Middle school students will experience many opportunities to develop the Graduate Vision skills this year. These experiences include:

  • Advisory lessons and curriculum that will include topics such as:  reflecting on Graduate Vision skills, SMART goal-setting, learning styles, strengths, interests and skills

  • Using Xello to explore strengths, interests and skills and maintaining a personal portfolio that will store school artifacts and prepare students for school and job applications, interviews and essays

  • A college field trip in 6th grade, a hands-on workshop called Future Quest in 7th grade and a variety of speakers sharing experiences during the School Makes a Difference event in 8th grade

Each student will maintain an e-portfolio to hold evidence of their exploration, growth, and next steps. This portfolio is housed within Xello, a post-secondary planning website. At the end of 8th, 10th, and 12th grade, students will complete a Portfolio Presentation by sharing key items from this portfolio to tell their story of growth, readiness, and next steps with an adult.

Each student will maintain an e-portfolio to hold evidence of their exploration, growth, and next steps. This portfolio is housed within Xello, a post-secondary planning website. Your child will be sharing their Xello account with you in November so you can see what they are working on.  Students will do some school guided lessons in Xello, but they can work independently with this program too.   At the end of each grade, students will complete a Portfolio Presentation by sharing key items from this portfolio to tell their story of growth, readiness, and next steps. 6th grade students will share this in small groups.  7th grade students will be making a google site. 8th grade students will be preparing answers to interview questions and then doing a one on one interview with an adult from our school community.

How do I support my student’s College, Career and Community Readiness?

How do I learn more?

Thanks for your support in helping your child reach their goals! Please do not hesitate to reach out to the following staff members:

Boyd Snyder: 204-4682


Physical Education

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Students are to report ALL accidents to the instructors immediately - no matter how minor.

Equipment needed

  1. Your child must change into gym clothes to participate. A t-shirt and athletic wear (shorts, sweatpants/leggings) are required. No shorts with zippers are permitted. No tanktops. 
  2. Sweatpants and sweatshirts are recommended as we go outside for fall and spring sports. 
  3. Athletic shoes are required. No shoes with heels or hiking boots are allowed. Shoes must have a back on them -- no slip-ons.
  4. Combination padlock - MUST be a school lock purchased in the school office.
  5. All clothes must be labeled. Label can be on inside tag or hem.
  6. Optional: Deodorant may be brought but must not be in a glass container, or spray (triggers asthma symptoms). 

PE Q&A

Locker room rules

  1. No running is allowed. The floor is slippery when wet.
  2. No horseplay.
  3. Lockers must be locked at all times.
  4. No food, drink or gum in the gym or locker room at any time.
  5. Do not leave valuables, student chromebook, money or clothing unlocked in the locker rooms. Students are provided with a gym locker. Padlocks are sold in the school office. Please use them as we are not responsible for lost or stolen items.

General rules

  1. Students are given 5 minutes to dress before and after class.
  2. Students are expected to enter the gym and sit in their designated spot for attendance. 
  3. Jewelry, including watches, should not be worn in class -- for your protection and that of classmates.
  4. No books are to be brought into the gym area. Backpacks are to be left in homeroom lockers. 
  5. Any student needing to be excused from class due to illness or injury must bring a note from their parent or guardian.
  6. Anyone who has had a prolonged illness or injury requiring them to miss more than 2 classes in a row must bring in a physician's excuse.

Medical excuse

  1. A student will be excused from participation in class only if he or she has a dated excuse from the parent. It must have a terminating date for the length of the excuse. This excuse is good for only one or two classes.
  2. If a student will be unable to participate for more than two classes in a row, a physician's excuse is necessary. This will be kept on file. This is an MMSD School Board policy.

Criteria for grading

Skills and techniques, knowledge, application, participation

archery_1_feb_2020.jpgQ: How are the units for the year chosen?

A: We choose units that are current in today’s world.  We offer both individual and team sports opportunities. We choose units that are experienced globally, considering our diverse international population.  Our choices are at times limited by classes size, space, safety, cost and equipment needs. Our ultimate goal is to be able to adapt to the wide range of needs of our students’ skills, physical abilities, and social-emotional competencies, all while keeping students engaged, active, and safe.

Q: My child is very athletic, why do they not consistently get an A in PE?

A: PE grading is based on 3 Power Standards that students must demonstrate consistently in class. The first standard is Skills and Techniques , which, in our curriculum, consists of fitness stations and lead-up activities/skills.  In the fitness stations, students need to demonstrate the objectives in each of the stations.  The stations include balance, agility, strength, flexibility, bi-lateral coordination, core stability, and hand-eye coordination.  The various stations are modeled by the PE teachers, reviewed, and have posters with pictures and a written description of expectations posted.

The 2nd standard is Knowledge .  Knowledge is demonstrated with a written assessment of the content covered in our class. The test is taken once per quarter, is often rigorous, and requires students to study and prepare if they want to do well.  To help students prepare there are ‘check for understanding’ activities, review sheets uploaded to the Hamilton Physical Education Google Classroom, and a class review.

The 3rd standard is Application .  This standard includes demonstrating skills, strategies and rules of the specific units or activities.  A major component of this standard is participation and engagement.

In summary, getting an A requires students to demonstrate the target skill sets/fitness activities, exhibit an advanced level of knowledge, and show age level appropriate application in individual and group gaming activities.

Q: My child is not very athletic, so how can they do well in PE?

A: Because the PE grading is based on 3 Power Standards, students with limited athletic experience can still demonstrate the class objectives through improvement on the skills, techniques, and application in the various units. For example, starting with a plank pose baseline of 20 seconds and increasing the time throughout the unit would demonstrate improvement .

Q: Why is it an expectation for my child to change into gym clothes?

A: The middle schooler’s body is going through many changes both hygienically and physically.  They need appropriate clothes to be able to move easily, non-restricted, and without limitations with things in pockets, etc.  There is also the expectation that by doing activities in class, students will get hot/sweaty, which makes it uncomfortable to wear the same clothes the rest of the day.  There are also times when the outside grass is wet or clothes get dirty. We build 5 minutes at the beginning and end of class time to allow for changing clothes. Some students feel uncomfortable changing in front of other students and choose to use bathroom stalls, unused shower areas, locker room alcoves, and a gender neutral restroom to change.

Q: My child struggles in less structured classes, how can they be successful in PE?

A:   Knowing that many middle school students thrive in routines, we work to keep our classes in a consistent order of: attendance, fitness stations, jogging, instructional time, then activities. Our PE classes are large, but structured in a way that allows students to interact with each other in a way that cannot be achieved in a typical classroom.  This interaction can be difficult for some students, but with consistent and high expectations, we feel each student can be successful and grow into a mature, well-rounded middle school student.

Physical Education instructors

Ms. Guse 204-4657
Ms. Robinson 204-4657
Mr. Logterman 204-4656